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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 2 of Carlo Lottieri’s “Introduction” to the 2009 collection of some essays by the late, brilliant Bruno Leoni, entitled Law, Liberty and the Competitive Market (Carlo Lottieri, ed.) (footnote deleted; original emphasis):

Economics offered to [Bruno] Leoni a key to understand how a large society works, and how by its autonomous dynamism it can produce relations, rules, languages, and so on. Studying the market economy, he perceives the opposition between spontaneous order and planning, and in this way he understands how such a contrast is significant even for the origins of the legal norms. Leoni’s idea of a law able to protect individual liberty has its roots in the market – i.e., in the firm conviction that only by overcoming the political monopoly that has dominated the modern age (the state) is it possible to rediscover the law, entrusting it with its most authentic function.

DBx: Most people today believe that “law” and “legislation” are synonyms for each other, and that the phenomena to which each refers are commands issued by the state – commands issued to determine the behaviors of individuals most of whom are either inert blobs or self-destructive fools, and the rest of whom are predators. The fact that regularly observed rules of behavior – laws – emerge spontaneously among individuals going about their daily affairs is unknown to most people. The common but incorrect notion today is that society is engineered by the state through the “laws” that it issues. The uncommon but correct understanding is that the state is incapable of making laws; it can make only legislation. And whatever you think of the state’s record of legislating, you fall into error if you believe that the state makes law.


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